Weary from the heat of the summer sun, the coolness of ocean water gleamed across the horizon. My body longed for a fresh drink but I was surrounded by the undrinkable. The intense need for refreshing poured over me. This desire for water reminded me of Christ’s words to the Samaritan woman in John chapter 4, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
If Christ gives everlasting water in a free and abundant supply then why do I feel spiritually dry? During this season of longing for a drink of living water, I wondered if anyone else has ever experienced being dry. I found this psalm penned by King David,
“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1)
David longed for God’s presence during the parched seasons of life. He sought the Lord longing for Him but the longing remained. I am learning the importance of clinging to drops of water in seasons of dryness.
Spiritual deserts happen when walking with Christ. When those seasons are over it gives way to a season of intense fulfillment in Christ. Although right now the weariness feels like my growth in Christ has been stunted. I can be surrounded by good teaching and constant reminders of God’s love but it doesn’t seem to penetrate my heart as it once did. In these times I am in an oasis but remaining thirsty and spiritually fatigued.
I often find myself contemplating “Oh, you messed up!” or “What did I do wrong that God seems distant?” During these times I must actively pursue a mindset filled with gospel truth.
These words gave me a deeper understanding of a heart refocused,
“So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.” (Psalm 63:2-5)
Feelings are fleeting but truth stands undaunted. The truth is that God will never abandon His child. Truth claims the promises that joy will return even when hope seems gone. What did David do when He was feeling parched and weary? He sang! He praised the Lord. When I take my focus off of my self and circumstances through praise my vantage point changes. I can once again see the glorious love displayed on Calvary and respond with joy. Is the desert season over the moment I praise. No, however, joy replaces the distant feeling in my heart. I can’t wait to be out of the desert someday and to have a constant view of the Son of God and never be thirsty!
Do you feel parched, weary soul? Try praising through the pain. My prayer for you is that you would be deliriously joyful through this parched place you are in.
Oh, what a glorious day when at last I shall see His face.
The crucified Lord above shall forever surround me with His everlasting love.
Deep longings all erased with just one look at His magnificent face.